Essayedge residency personal statement

Essayedge residency personal statement

Moving from Research to Practice – Medical Sample Essay

Note: This essay appears unedited for instructional purposes. Essays edited by EssayEdge are dramatically improved.

My determination to become a doctor was not a spur-of-the-moment decision; rather, it is the product of many years of careful consideration. Likewise, I know that the road ahead is a long one. So far, however, I feel that this gradual solidifying of interests and aptitudes has worked in my favor by increasing my level of maturity and allowing me to accumulate relevant experience. Most important, it has made me more confident about the choices I am making regarding my professional and personal future.

As a child, I envisioned helping other people just as my grandfather did when he was a doctor. He often donated part of his time to individuals who could not afford health care in rural areas of India and Africa. As I grew older, my own experiences — as a volunteer in a hospital emergency room and as a tutor for underprivileged children from Harlem — reinforced my sense of community.

After not being accepted to a medical school the first time around, I felt disappointed. I contacted several medical school admissions officers, who suggested that I should work primarily on improving my academic record. I asked myself yet again the most fundamental questions: How important was it for me to go to medical school? Did I really want to spend more time trying to get in when I had no guarantees of admission?

At the time, I felt I could not readily answer these questions. I decided to get a fresh start by securing a job dealing with scientific research. Following my interest in the biological sciences, I moved to Philadelphia to pursue a master’s degree in biochemistry. Initially, the experience proved more difficult that I had expected; I suddenly found myself in an entirely new environment, with no friends.

Gradually, I adjusted to my new surroundings. For the first time in a long while, I started to enjoy my classes. Subjects I had not really been previously exposed to before, such as pharmacology and pathology, renewed my enthusiasm for studying. I was particularly fascinated by how the different drugs and diseases affect the human body. My newly-found optimism coincided with my ability to make new friends and build new relationships. Within a few months, I felt as if I belonged here. But something still seemed to be missing.

When I started working on my thesis project in the neurosurgery department, I had the opportunity to meet a number of doctors and medical students. The sheer dedication with which they pursued their work inspired me: it re-ignited my own desire to do something more challenging. I realized that I did not want to just work in a lab for the rest of my life. Although I have enjoyed pursuing research projects, I find the laboratory setting a little closed to the outside environment, because I have very little contact with the people I am trying to help. As a doctor, I could affect people in a more tangible fashion. Having experienced the pure-research track, I am now confident that the constant human interaction required by the medical profession would allow me to maximize both my knowledge and skills.

When I look back on how I have spent my time since my first round of medical school applications, I am glad that I am a little older than most medical students. I feel that, by testing my interests and abilities in another field, I have further strengthened my desire and commitment to become a physician. The first application process allowed me to realize the importance of a solid academic experience, and it gave me a chance to step back and reevaluate my goals for the future. I know that this process of maturing will make me a better and more compassionate doctor, and I now feel more prepared than ever for the rigors of medical school.

How to Make Your Residency Personal Statement Personal

When writing your residency personal statement, standing apart from the crowd can be difficult. Because the requirements to become a physician are rigorous (as they should be!), your background will likely be similar to other applicants in numerous ways. The good news is that residency selectors know this – and they want applicants who have the right background so that they can be confident in your ability to do the work of being a resident. Therefore, how do you show that you are the best candidate? By making your residency personal statement personal. Here are some tips on creating a residency personal statement that showcases your passion and potential to excel as a resident.

1. Pay Attention to Patients

Although this may seem obvious, it is truly astounding how many residency personal statements overlook patients. Your residency personal statement should absolutely contain at least one anecdote about a patient (or a group of patients if, for example, you’ve participated in an outreach program abroad). In your residency personal statement, discuss the issues at hand and why this patient (or this experience treating patients) was meaningful to you. The anecdote itself probably won’t be unique, but don’t worry about that. The point is the insight that this provides the selectors into your character and your ability to interact with patients effectively to provide them with the highest level of care.

2. Tailor to the Program

The surest way to have a residency personal statement that is all but ignored by the selectors is to submit a general personal statement. If you are applying to more than one specialty, that’s fine. However, you need to craft a personal statement that is tailored to each specialty. General statements are, by definition, not personal. You won’t seem really interested in the program, and the selector will simply move on to someone who is. A less-perfect but passionate personal statement will always perform better than a well-crafted but generic one.

3. Write about Relationships – Even in Research

In order to keep your residency personal statement from reading like a narrative version of your CV, focus on relationships. This is true for writing about patients as well as writing about your research accomplishments and your goals for your residency program. When writing about research, be sure to mention your relationships with others. If you developed a particularly strong working relationship with the head researcher, be specific about the meaningful interactions that built the foundation of your bond. Detail how you collaborated with other researchers or sought guidance from experts outside of your research team. Ultimately, it is people who get research done, so you need to show that you can make connections with others.

4. Have Clear Goals for Your Program

It’s okay to know what you want from a program and to state this directly in your residency personal statement. Every selector wasn’t going to love you anyway, so there’s no need to worry about trying to impress everybody. Instead, focus on getting your message across to the selectors who have the right type of program that will make you feel at home and is a match for your goals.

5. Don’t Get Too Creative

As stated above, your background probably isn’t going to deviate significantly from that of other applicants. Over the years, I’ve had some applicants attempt to overcome this hurdle by submitting essays that are, let’s say, creative. I advise them against it. They do it anyway. I never hear from them again. Not once have I seen a personal statement like that succeed in the matching process. The overall structure of your residency personal statement should be rather formulaic. It’s the details that make it personal.

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Mayetunde said: 10-05-2007 01:14 PM

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Susanmed09 said: 06-24-2009 06:06 PM

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I used Ivy Eyes Editing (on google), mucccch cheaper than the other services. It was worth it just to have someone else do the thinking and style overhaul The med school application process is intense enough already.

Sirscrubsalot said: 07-06-2009 03:17 AM

I’d try and get a few friends to take a look at it before considering any services. They don’t necessarily have to be from a medical background either! I’m familiar with the Harvard one in the past, but it’s probably better for others to try and give their input for «free» rather than paying for those simple things that we sometimes overlook.

For example, getting friends to simply look for grammatical/punctuation type of errors out of the way first can cut time spent on services correcting that. Sometimes these companies make most of the $$ from formatting those things and then adding fees on top of that for other types of revisions.

If you’re fortunate to have a friend working in law or from many of the undergraduate types of college majors (psych, philosophy, english, etc) people take for example, that’s always helpful too! They have to write tons of papers and would have good experience.

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